The Indian cinegoer is gradually getting used to path-breaking concepts in Hindi films. In this fast-changing scenario, the new-age writers and directors are picking up stories that are realistic, identifiable, straight out of life... Defy the diktats of worn-out commercial cinema and swim against the tide thats the new mantra of new-age film-makers! MY BROTHER NIKHIL is an effort in that direction. The film looks at the HIV/AIDS issue in Goa in the 80s, when not much was known about the pandemic/virulent disease. The misconceptions about the ailment and how it affected not just an individual, but his entire family, has been narrated in the most profoundly moving manner. MY BROTHER NIKHIL works for the emotional quotient it has to offer. Its a touching tale of a person who wants to live. Powerful and poignant, this is a lump-in-your-throat film! MY BROTHER NIKHIL tells you the story of a man who suddenly falls from grace and is socially ostracized. His parents, friends and colleagues turn their backs on him. Suddenly, his whole world collapses. Nikhil is sent to a secluded hospital ward and kept in solitary confinement. Reason: He has tested HIV Positive. An uncommon story ought to be narrated in the most distinct fashion and debutante director Onir does exactly that. MY BROTHER NIKHIL confronts us with the reality of HIV/AIDS with simplicity and straightforwardness. The beauty of the film lies in the fact that the emotion builds up gradually and the layers slowly envelope and grip you. For a film of this genre to strike a note, it ought to be embellished with compelling performances and a strong emotional quotient. And MY BROTHER NIKHIL is rich in both the departments. The emotional sequences are sure to melt even the stone-hearted and the finale, although tragic, talks of hope, not despair. MY BROTHER NIKHIL is embellished with superior performances and topping the list is, without doubt, Sanjay Suri. A performance that deserves an ovation [and a strong recommendation in next years awards category!], Suri proves yet again that hes amongst the brightest actors today. A reservoir of talent! Juhi Chawla is in complete form. Theres no denying that her performance in this film would rank amongst the finest in her career. Her expressions towards the latter half, when she helplessly watches her brothers deteriorating health, is worth noting. Another actor who stands out is Purab Kohli. Victor Banerjee is, like always, tremendous. Lillete Dubey is highly competent. Highly recommended! This writer was invited to an exclusive, closed-door screening of MY BROTHER NIKHIL. The review of the film will be uploaded on Friday, March 25, 2005.
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